Moderate risk, Moderate risk, ooh 5% tornado probability, what looks like nice profiles and good potential in Northern Kansas. When you get there, the storms go up...and the excitement dies when you see the left moving storms tending to dominate. Damn. Typically in the alley the right moving storm is the tornado producer (as the dominant shear profile is anticlockwise, with surface south-easterlies and westerlies or south-westerlies with altitude), the storms for which this area is famous, while the left moving storms are giant hail producers. So it looked like the tornado risk was going to be a bridge to far once more, with relatively high LCLs as well.
The first storm popped up, quickly killed the right mover, and began dropping golfballs. Bit of a disappointment. Not a great start for a day where tornadoes were hopefully on the cards. Storms were moving quickly, so we dropped south for the next cell to form along the dryline.
|Large hail began falling from the RFD as several funnels became evident. Photo: Brad.|
|A white funnel extends as a tumbling RFD carries large hail in our direction and we retreat for shelter. Photo: Brad.|
|'Atmospheric Yin and Yang' - Shadowing from an updraft to the west creates a dark and light to the atmosphere. Photo: John.|
|'Reflection' - It seemed no matter how far we ran south, the cells still didn't do what we were looking for. Photo: John.|
Finally, we got onto a right moving storm near Ellis, Kansas. Unfortunately, it was LP, but did have some really nice rotation, nice colouration from the sinking sun and some big hail.
|The storm rotating structure becomes evident in glorious colour. Photo: Brad.|
|Rapid rotation overhead near Ellis, Kansas as a clear slot cuts into the storm. Photo: Brad.|
|'Finally Right' - Finally a decent right mover formed without a left mover in the way, unfortunately it was LP, but did rotate strongly and produce giant hail. Photo: John.|
Yet another cell formed further south and we chased down onto it as quickly as we could, but the anvil, mammatus in the sunset were too hard to resist over ripened wheat fields with the cell relatively high based. At least we had some great photography opportunities to make up for a moderate risk flop (seems to be a bit of a trend).
|'Sunset Road' - Our road of choice for the sunset with mammatus over wheat fields. Photo: John|
|'Sunset on Anvil' - The amazing sunset on the mammatus of the anvil of the last supercell in the line. Photo: John.|
|And a wide angle pano of the beauty......cos we can :) Photo - Brad.|
Later on we had a terrible tire blowout at night from nowhere and had to limp to Pratt, Kansas. We were hoping that we could solve our issue early enough to make the next day's target. Northwestern Texas was the plan to see what the state where everything is bigger could come up with some reasonable thunderstorm parameters.